close up of a laptop keyboard

If you are a gamer interested in buying a new budget laptop for your hobby, then our suggestions for the best gaming laptops under 500 dollars, are sure to help you make a decision. Any laptop on our list can help you try out the more recent games or just provide a better fps in the games you usually play.

Our recommendations will first of all, be ranked on the ratio between price and performance. Secondary considerations will be given to design, screen quality, HDD capacity, operating system and battery life during stand by. We will present the main features, overall specs, pros and cons of each laptop. We will only focus on new and not used or refurbished versions of the laptops, which are cheaper.

5. Toshiba Qosmio X505-Q8100X

Toshiba Qosmio X505-Q8100X red screen
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We’re starting our list of recommendations for gaming laptops under 500 with the Toshiba Qosmio X 505-Q8100X. You can buy this laptop for $500 on Amazon. Although, this model is a bit past its prime release date, it still a specialized gaming laptop. Its specs can hold their own even against newer similarly-priced laptops. The combination of a high-quality screen, fast 7200 RPM HDD and dual-core processor coupled with its dedicated graphics card (GPU) and support for 3D content makes this an amazing addition to any gamer on a budget. Unfortunately, it comes with Windows 7, which doesn’t have as many gaming functions as the newest OS. You can easily replace it if you already have a copy of Windows 10.

Specs:

  • Processor: Intel Core i5 2410M/ dual-core 2.3 GHz.
  • RAM: 4 GB DDR3, 1333 MHz.
  • Video: NVIDIA Geforece GTX 460M, 1.5 GB GDDR5.
  • Screen: 18.4”, 1920 x 1080.
  • Storage: 500 GB 7200 RPM, SATA.
  • Battery: 4 cell lithium ion, up to 4 hours.

Pros:

  • Large, high-quality screen.
  • Dedicated graphics card.
  • Supports 3D content.
  • Quality audio speakers.

 Cons:

  • The large screen drains the battery very fast.
  • Hard to carry around with you because of its size.

4. Acer Aspire F 15

Acer Aspire 15 with Windows 10
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Acer is known for its high-performance gaming  laptops under 500 dollars, and the Aspire F 15 is no exception. For only $493.99, you get an excellent laptop designed for gamers with more diversified tastes. It’s large capacity hard drive and high amount of memory will allow you to install a lot of games. Not even the background applications will disturb your gaming experience. One of its biggest drawbacks is the integrated graphics card and low-frequency processor. But if you your way around Intel’s technology, you can boost it up to 2.70 GHz. Acer Aspire F 15 comes with Windows 10 preinstalled.

Specs:

  • Processor: Intel Core i5 4210U, dual-core 1.70 GHz.
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR3L 1600 MHz.
  • Video: Intel HD Graphics 4400, 2 GB.
  • Screen: 15.6” HD LCD touchscreen, 1366 x 768.
  • Storage: 1 TB 5400 RPM SATA.
  • Battery: 4 cell lithium ion, lasts up to 7 hours.

Pros:

  • 8 GB RAM for multitasking.
  • High capacity storage.
  • Good battery autonomy.

Cons:

  • Low frequency processor.
  • Low resolution screen.
  • Integrated, low memory graphics card.
  • Cheap plastic build.

3. Samsung Series 7 NP700Z5C

Samsung Series 7 grey
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Samsung’s gaming laptops under 500 dollars are a great combination of performance, price and design and the Series 7 is no exception. Unfortunately, it comes with some drawbacks but the price isn’t one. It’s currently selling for $489.99 on Amazon. Although it has a dedicated GPU, the fact that it has only 1 GB video memory can lead to a worse performance in games than an integrated card. What it lacks in GPU power it makes up for in processing speed, with an i7 quad-core 2.3 GHz. Its high-resolution screen coupled with 6 GB of RAM and a 7200 RPM 750 GB HDD, make this Samsung Series 7 laptop a great gaming machine. Unfortunately, the laptop comes only with Windows 7 preinstalled.

Specs:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 3615QM, quad-core 2.3 GHz.
  • RAM: 6 GB DDR3 1600MHz.
  • Video: NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M, 1 GB GDDR5.
  • Screen: 15.6”, 1600 x 900.
  • Storage: 750 GB, 7200 RPM SATA.
  • Battery: 4-cell lithium ion, up to 7 hours.

Pros:

  • Very high-performance processor.
  • Medium amount of RAM.
  • High resolution screen.

Cons:

  • Low video memory.
  • Prone to overheating because it lacks a proper exhaust system.

2. HP Notebook 15-ay011nr

HP Notebook 15-ay011nr grey version
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Although, this HP laptop is not specifically designed for gaming, its combination of high performance specs, quality screen and large storage capacity can accommodate any casual gamer. It has the very accessible price of $459.99 on Amazon. HP 15-ay011nr has only two main drawbacks. The first and most important one is that it comes with an integrated GPU from Intel. Fortunately, it has a high enough memory to compensate and can still be on par with lower-end dedicated cards. The second drawback is that its 1 TB HDD has only 5400 RPM, which will increase load times despite an overall good performance. Windows 10 ties the features, price and specs into a lean mean gaming machine for the budget gamer.

Specs:

  • Processor: Intel core i5-6200U, dual-core 2.3 GHz.
  • RAM: 8GB DDR3 1600MHz.
  • Video: Intel HD Graphics 520 (up to 4 GB).
  • Screen: 15.6” FHD backlist display, 1920 x 1080.
  • Storage: 1 TB 5400 RPM SATA.
  • Battery: 4 cell Li-ion, lasts up to 7 hours.

Pros:

  • Well-rounded specs for this price
  • High battery autonomy.
  • High resolution screen.

Cons:

  • Cheap plastic build which can overheat in demanding games.
  • Integrated GPU and low speed HHD feel out of place in this system.

1. Dell Inspiron 15

Dell Inspiron 15 black version
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This model from Dell’s Inspirion 5000 series is one of the best and cheapest gaming laptops under 500 dollars. Its currently available on Amazon for $459.99. It has overall balanced specs which allows it to run even more demanding games on recommended or minimum settings. The expanded memory capacity coupled with the dedicated NVIDIA chipset is the strongest argument for buying this budget laptop for gaming. If you uninstall a game as soon as you are done with it, then you won’t mind the low capacity hard drive. As is the case with the newer generation of Intel processors, you have the option to boost it up to 2.7 GHz if a game requires the extra power. It’s important to know that the laptop comes with Windows 10 already installed,  which has seen some exclusive game releases like Quantum Break.

Specs:

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-5200U, dual-core 2.2 GHz.
  • RAM: 4 GB DDR3 1600Mhz, expandable to 8 GB.
  • Video: NVIDIA GeForce 820M 2 GB GDDR5
  • Screen: 15.6” LED Backlist Display, 1366 x 768.
  • Storage: 500 GB 5400 RPM SATA.
  • Battery: 4 cell lithium ion, lasts up to 6.5 hours.

Pros:

  • High-performance i5 processor.
  • Dedicated NVIDIA GPU.
  • Expandable RAM capacity.

Cons:

  • Low capacity and slow speed HDD.
  • Low resolution screen.
  • Plastic materials that can overheat.

Conclusion

Each system we showcased can be considered gaming laptops under 500 dollars. However, not all were designed with that purpose in mind. Some laptops can easily overheat in games while others have a poor performance because of integrated graphics card. After a careful review of each laptop’s price to performance ratio and other specs and features we recommend buying the Dell Inspiron 15.

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